Jump to content


participating member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by dividend

  1. I'm not generally up early enough or motivated enough to cook a hot breakfast during the week - it's normally smoothies or toasted bagels. Yesterday, I had forgotten to set my both my bedroom alarm clock and the microwave kitchen clock for daylight savings, and found myself up and awake with an extra hour to spare. So of course, I made pancakes! More specifically, butternut squash pancakes. I ate them with bananas, walnuts, maple syrup, and chocolate milk, and they were awesome. The best part is, I had a great even energy level all morning. I made a bunch extra, and they were 90% as good popped in the toaster this morning. YUM.
  2. I meal plan, pretty rigorously, using a palm pilot. The process looks like this : - As I get inspired throughout the week for next week, I'll make notes next week's memo (which sits on Sunday of that week). For instance, it's Friday, and next weeks notes include soft taco, curry with spring rolls, and some kind of protein with brown rice pilaf as packed lunch idea. - On Saturday, I'll check my freezer inventory, what's left in the fridge, (what was in my CSA box on Wednesday,) and our schedule for the following week, and finalize a menu by day for the following week, beginning on Sunday. This plan includes 6 day dinner, 4 days of brown bag lunches and snacks for DBF and I, and daily breakfast/coffee. It takes into account days when we'll need dinner to be super quick because of obligations. - I gather up all the recipes for next week, and make a detailed grocery list in my palm pilot. - I look at which meals will need something defrosted, and make tasks to remind myself to do that the day before. - Grocery shop on Sunday. Each day, it's a matter of just making what's on the schedule, and defrosting whatever for the next night, if needed. It sounds complicated. But I waste very little groceries this way, and we both like that most of what I cook is from scratch and relatively healthy.
  3. I've had some great beers lately. Went to Founders brewery in Michigan, and was absolutely blown away by their Curmudgen. It's a non stout Bourbon Barrel beer, smooth, low carbonation, and it has that wonderful vanilla, oak flavor without any harshness at all. It's now my favorite beer. (If you get it in a bottle, decant it into a goblet style glass and let it sit for about 10 minutes - it's really harsh right out of the bottle.) Their breakfast stout was great, as always, and the BF liked the Red Rye, which is like a sweet IPA that's mellowed without getting boring. While in Michigan, I tried some other local beers - Bells Consecrator Doppelbock, which was delicious and smooth, and Shorts Bourbon Barrel Sustenance, which tasted like espresso and cream in a really good way. If you like Founder's breakfast stout, you'll like this one. Back home in Kansas City, I'm loving Boulevard's Two Jokers on tap. It's super bright and citrusy double wit, refreshing and crisp. We discovered that Left Hand Milk Stout, which is a very drinkable stout for summer, is tremendously better on tap than in a bottle. Tried three new beers from our neighborhood bar that are all Belgian style ales - La Chouff (a Belgian Blonde Ale), Pauwel Kwak (which is served in its own complicated chemistry set looking glass), and Maredsous Tripel (an Abbey style Tripel). The BF says that La Chouff tastes like what you get when take a pretty good IPA and let it age and mature. These are all heavy and sweet, but they've got varying degrees of that characteristic sour funk to them that keeps them from being too much. I love this style. And I've been drinking a lot of Goose Island Sofie, both at home, with orange slices, and happily, on tap at most of my favorite bars. It's my go-to summer beer. Estrella Damm Inedit (brewed by Ferran Adria) is similar - brewed to be light, with citrus and spices.
  4. I found another keeper! Zucchini and Ricotta Galette She says that the homemade dough is indistinguishable from store bought puff pastry, so I cheated and used a sheet of puff pastry I had in the freezer. I also probably used more garlic and olive oil than the recipe calls for, including brushing it on the pastry before I added the cheese layer. This turned out delicious, almost like a white zucchini pizza you'd get for lunch at an expensive eatery. It's super simple if you don't make your own crust. Definitely try it!
  5. I'm a sucker for those "natural" type snack bars, because they're so convenient to just throw in my purse, or in one of my bento containers, when I'm too lazy to even weigh out some nuts. I am a fastidious label reader, and it's hard to find one with an acceptable ingredient list. I love love love Larabars. The peanut butter cookie ones have an ingredient list of dates, peanuts, salt. I bought a box of Mrs. Mays Trio bars at Costco, intrigued by the promise of nuts, seeds, and fruits. But alas. The two types of sugar - rice malt, and evaporated cane juice - on the label, even though near the end of the ingredient list, make these too sweet (like a lot of processed foods, I'm noticing). It's too bad, because they'd taste good otherwise. They're not awful, but they're getting relegated to backup snacks in the purse/desk drawer/camelbak. Anyone found any really good snack bars?
  6. There's a Dinner! topic, a Breakfast! topic, and a Lunch! topic. But not one for snacks? Let's rectify that right now. Please, show/tell us what you're snacking on. I pack two snacks to take to work with me each day, and this week I found a wonderful new combination - Wasa oat crackers, a dollop of ricotta, and a drizzle of wildflower honey. Seriously nice for a mid-morning break. I've got celery filled with peanut butter (and some chocolate peanut butter, YUM) and cut into 1 inch pieces, for this afternoon. I think the work week is more bearable when the snacks are good. Share your snacks!
  7. dividend

    Dips, cold or hot

    I do the lazy man's version of this by squirting sriracha onto a dollop of mayonnaise directly on my plate. This is great for plain chicken or fish.
  8. dividend

    Wine or Beer?

    I agree with you except for Terrible. In my mind, that's an after dinner beer in lieu of a cup of coffee. But it would not match well with the front and center sweetness of pecan pie, which would overwhelm it, IMO. I like Ayinger Celebrator with a burger if there's no cheese on the burger, and I think it would work with baked beans too if they're flavored more towards dark molasses than brown sugar.
  9. I'm sure there are good books and such to guide you as to temperature/head for specific beers, but the best would be to find a bartender that really knows his stuff, because how a beer is handled can really change the experience. My best example of that is Orval. I'd tried it and wasn't crazy about it until I found a bartender who knew to open the bottle and let it sit for a few minutes to take the chill off, and a do a very slow pour with a lot of head. I love the nuances of this beer because of that. The sour/lambic Belgians can be really interesting. Duchesse de Bourgogne is pretty far out on the spectrum. I love it, but it's like drinking a red wine vinegar that's had a parmesan rind steeping in it, and in my mind it's more like a barleywine than a beer. These beers don't really share common traits with the trappist styles.
  10. I very much enjoyed the "Recipes That Rock" threads for 2008 and 2009, and several of recipes from those threads have become staples in my repertoire. You know the drill - post recipes that you try for the first time this year, that knocked your socks off. I'll kick it off for 2010. I'm in love with the recipes from Real Simple magazine. Always easy, delicious, and made from fresh ingredients. This one, from the February '400 calorie meals' section on the website, is a killer. 15 minute including prep, healthy, and massively flavorful. It's going right into regular weeknight rotation. Honey-Soy Glazed Salmon with Spinach
  11. dividend


    I tried the Whole Foods brand "triscuits", because I didn't want to go to a separate grocery store just for crackers. They're sort of... meh. It reminds me of eating shredded wheat when I was expecting frosted mini wheats. Not terrible (and you can't beat the ingredients: Wheat, salt), but not really delicious either. I love those! They're like spicy/salty/pepper awesomeness, and they're great with sharp cheddar, or even Boursin, if you're feeling decadent.
  12. If your route takes you through Kansas City, Oklahoma Joe's is a good iconic choice, and easy to access from the major interstates, if you're passing through for lunch. Natives will argue for days about who has "the best" BBQ, but you definitely won't regret OK Joe's if it's your one KC meal.
  13. If it's loose sausage, I would be tempted to try it in pasta with sausage and chard. I make it all the time with breakfast sausage, and it's delicious, fast, and easy. I've been making good use of my freezers, too. I've got the top of the fridge one contained to mostly fruit, bread odds and ends, fish/shrimp, and the random stuff in the door like a jar of pine nuts or chili paste. The basement chest freezer is now mostly vacuum sealed bags of chicken/turkey stock and chopped meat, carrot/banana breads, brats from the CSA, and single servings of homemade stuff. I tossed some questionable stuff. Learned that if I roast a chicken, I need to make stock then and there, because tossing the carcass in the freezer means I'll never get around too it.
  14. Margarine for sure, especially spread on things. I've become a butter girl all the way. Velveeta shells and cheese. I used to love it, but it tastes overwhelmingly like plastic now. Skim milk, or milk in plastic containers. I've started drinking local, whole milk in the glass bottles, and it's like night and day. I got Dad to try it, and now he's drinking milk again after years of thinking he didn't like it. This. Although at the local coffee house where I buy my beans, you can order french press coffee, and sometimes I can talk the resident coffee geek into making me a vacuum brewed cup. That's a good cup of coffee.
  15. My mom used to serve this as a side dish. In a bowl lined with iceberg lettuce. With a dollop of mayo on top. Sometimes I eat it for breakfast, although I like a lighter syrup now (I've canned my own peach halves in a 10% syrup that is perfect), and leave off the mayo if it's early in the AM.
  16. We used to get Subway when I was a kid. It shared a building with a Blockbuster, so we'd rent some movies and get sandwiches. I remember liking the cold cut combos, since our normal sandwiches made at home were just turkey or ham. As a teenager, we stopped there a lot on debate road trips since that made it easy to accommodate vegetarians. Now, we stop there sometimes on the way to our lake house in the summer. It serves its purpose, since no one in my family cares enough for me to go to the trouble of packing a nice lunch for everyone. I generally order either a cold cut combo with all the veggies, mayo/mustard/oil/vinegar/s&p, or meatballs dressed the exact same way. I enjoy it, in a salt/fat/junk/throwback to how I used to eat kind of way. I wouldn't pick it as a place to have lunch around town, but it's fine road trip food.
  17. YES! I forgot about those. I will note that my parents started buying the low-fat turkey hotdogs. No. Just no. Ugh. Only the good all beef hot dogs with my Velveeta and crescent rolls, please! In the highbrow/lowbrow vein, I keep around a block of imported parmigiano reggiano (I have no idea if that's spelled right) from the Italian deli, and thus that gets used the way the green can would. So yes, only fancy schmancy cheese in my potato chip chicken!
  18. dividend

    Samuel Adams

    I feel the same way about our local brewery in Kansas City, Boulevard. It's nice to know that the worst I'll do at the divey burger or pizza place is their wheat or pale ale.
  19. Why do you find it difficult? I often make potatoes dauphinoise or ordinary scalloped potatoes for one or two -- as long as you have the right sized dish, you should be fine. I think it's because the recipe I have is perfectly atomic based on 1 pint of heavy cream, 1 onion, and 2lbs of potatoes, in a 9 inch dish. I don't normally have cream on hand, either, so it seems wasteful to me to by some and not use it all. And I don't have a smaller dish. Excuses, excuses, right? Tell me about the proportions for a 2 person scalloped potato side dish, please, that sounds good.
  20. I love canned peas. But ONLY Le Sueur Very Young Small Early Peas. I may or may not by them by the case at Costco. Lipton chicken flavored noodles in the pouch. To accompany chicken breaded in crushed potato chips. Actually that's one big guilty pleasure meal. Brownies from a box with extra chocolate chips added, under-baked a little. Covered in Betty Crocker vanilla frosting. That's my "birthday" cake request. My mom's tuna noodle casserole, made with a block of Velveeta and cream of mushroom soup. I can't bring myself to buy the stuff to make it, but I will eat a whole pan of it when she makes it for me. My grandmother used to send me to Wendy's for a hamburger (I would get a breaded chicken sandwich), and then to the McDonald's across the street for fries. I do that a couple times a year, and call it the Grandma Combo. Mom and I used to go to Taco Bell after our weekly piano lessons when I was little, so I still love their meximelts. I try to save those as a treat for when I'm on a road trip, though. My main shameful confession is that I have no self control around salty junk food. Awful frozen snacks, donuts, bad bar food, all of that I will eat until there's nothing left on the plate. So I don't keep it around. I let other people make it, and don't refuse it when it's offered.
  21. I keep hearing commercials on AM radio for Fresh Connect Kansas City, and have heard of similar delivery grocery services in larger cities. So today I finally googled it: http://www.freshconnectkc.com/ It looks like it could be a good alternative to schlepping out to Whole Paycheck in the CSA off-season, but I can't tell just by looking at the website if it's a worthwhile deal, and it looks like you have to sign up for ongoing delivery versus a week at a time. Anyone have any experience with it, or similar services?
  22. DBF and I have agreed to biweekly steak nights at home, to stave off the inevitable feelings of deprivation from eating homemade food 95% of the time (no matter how good my cooking is). My grocery list for that normally reads: steak 3 potatoes green veg It's understood to mean that at the grocery store, if he's with me, he will be in charge of procuring a thick, 10-oz, grass fed steak, and 3 medium sized potatoes, leaving me to wander the produce aisle and find inspiration. The potatoes become oven fries (via the Cook's Illustrated method), or are simply baked (in the oven, if I have an hour, nuked if not), or mashed with roasted garlic, or twice baked stuffed with shrimp and cheese (a riff on a Paula Deen recipe) if I have bits of cheese and sour cream on hand to get rid of. (I also adore gratin dauphinoise, but it's difficult to make in a two person meal quantity.) It's winter, so the steak is seared in cast iron, finished in the oven. I've also been really digging on baby bok choy sauteed with garlic, roasted asparagus, pan roasted brussel sprouts with bacon. I'm glad somebody started this thread, because I was pondering the exact same thing as I was meal planning last week - how to keep the whole meal interesting. I'm going to have to try creamed spinach, and something with squash. And daydream about summer, when all we'll need is grilled corn (butter, lime, cayenne, cilantro) and thick tomato slices. Grilled bread is a wonderful thing too.
  23. January 22-31, 95 participating restaurants with fixed menus - $15 lunch / $30 dinner. That price point seems a little strange for some of the restaurants. For example, DBF and I can go to Blanc and have burgers, fries, onion rings, good beer, and some chocolates and get out for <$60 total. There are a lot of included restaurants where <$30 before drinks/tax/tip is easy. It also seems strange that the list is full of chain restaurants - Houlihan's? McCormick & Schmick's? McFadden's? Nick & Jake's? Lunch looks like the best deals. Michael Smith, Webster House, etc. Any thoughts on this? http://www.kansascityrestaurantweek.com/
  24. That's fantastic! I've definitely bookmarked that for inspiration.
  25. I did good in the last couple of years - sourcing most of meat locally, using almost all of my CSA share all summer long, really keeping away from processed foods, finding some great staple recipes and methods (I will now by default roast any vegetable I don't know what do do with, for example). There's tweaking left, though. I'm moving toward eliminating eating any restaurant food that isn't delicious, or for a specific purpose. Basically, eating out more mindfully. I've gotten better about it in 2009, and I hope that 2010 will be even better. In that vein, I want my eating out this year to be nothing but conscious choices. I would also really like to get out of my rut for packed lunches for DBF and I. I do it dutifully every night (and I've been packing myself lunch in a Mr. Bento for almost 4 years), but it's started to feel more like a chore and less like a labor of love. The bento is set up perfectly for lunch + 2 snacks, and packed right, it really makes my workday better. But lately all I can muster up is PB&J, cut fruit, and something crunchy, with nuts and dried fruit to snack on. So I'm resolving to infuse the creativity and joy back into that process, so I can look forward to planning, preparing, and eating lunch again. Suggestions on this are welcome.
  • Create New...